Life Coaching In The Kitchen

Dear Standard Life Coach,

I get that Rachel Ray is trying to be Ms. Efficiency and prepare a 7 course gourmet meal for 16 people in 11 minutes. But can she really believe that the time saved by uttering absurdities like “E.V.O.O.” and “Sammies” is worth the special place in hell she will receive for torturing innocent people with their incessant use?

Worried About Her Immortal Soul

Dear Worried,

Yes, let’s talk about this.

Your favorite Life Coach detests the term “sammies” as much as I love saying “sammich”. I think people of breeding and refinement get the difference. A sammich is something that is generally made on pasty white bread, is packed inside a brown paper lunch bag, and holds meat redolent of snouts, knees, and ears. A sammich is never purchased, it is always made. I have heard of people putting Duke’s on a sammich instead of the proper Miracle Whip or Hellman’s, but I don’t actually know any of these people. A sammie, on the other hand, generally contains ingredients that should not be sitting near each other, let alone stacked on top of each other. Red grapes and hominy with arugula and tripe between two pieces of toasted marble rye would be a sammie.

I also have trouble with EVOO. First, it is a total waste of money to use extra-virgin olive oil if it is to be heated. It turns rancid and makes your food taste like it’s been prepared in the butt of a gassy goat.  Just get the plain, cheap olive oil and save the virgins for your salad dressing. Also, using such a term is fine until it becomes your thing. It has become a problem when you are your catchphrase and people just come up to you at the Dallas airport and yell, “HEY! SAY EEVEEOHOH!! SAMMIES, AMIRITE?!”

I have never tried a recipe of Ms. Ray’s that did not come out tasting like the south end of a north-bound mule, and I don’t mean that in a good way. However! I am in a giving mood. Here are three no-fail plans for Dinner Innahurry:

  1. Call your mother and beg her for that casserole recipe that uses the Ritz crackers and pimentos. Obviously, this is a fancy dish, so you want to serve this on the good china.
  2. Run by The Colonel’s and throw your eight-piece special on a serving tray with–now, pay attention here–some curly parsley for garnish.
  3. Peanut butter sammiches. DUH.

Now, as for her soul? The woman has a recipe for cooking bacon. Obviously her soul’s the least of her issues.

Life Coaching For The Holidays

Ah, holidays!

The smell of gingerbread and pine needles. The bustle of shoppers picking out the perfect gifts for the ones they love. The sounds of loud cursing when it is discovered you are out of tape. The wiz of the mouse as it flies across the room after you track the shipment containing your mother-in-law’s house coat and discover it will not get here until December 28.

We at Standard Shed Studios want to help. Nay, we CAN help you with that.

We (this is the royal we, obviously) know that you are powerless in the face of drunken co-workers at your office party, your Uncle Norman who insists on showing everyone his stub during Christmas dinner, and your neighbors with the yard decorations so bright you’ve considered covering your windows with aluminum foil. We are here.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

My husband insists on wearing these felt antlers on his head EVERY DAMN DAY. It’s getting ridiculous. What can I do?


Mrs. Rudolph

Dear Mrs. Rudolph,

We would remind you that bow season lasts until January and that discharging a musket within city limits is illegal.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

My wife always says it’s the thought that counts, but when I give her something she needs like a new low-flush toilet, I get a speech about how I’ve ruined her Christmas.



Dear Confused,

Ah, yes. We know the species of which you speak. The object of your affection is a Passive/Aggressive Gifter. There’s little you can do here. If you take her to Hawaii, she’d really have wanted to go to Mexico. If you go to Jared’s, she’ll call you a cheap, tacky bastard and her mother was right about you.

We suggest you pick out something YOU want and wrap it. Just because nothing will please her, doesn’t mean that’s true for you, yes? Although, to be fair, unless one specifically asks for a new toilet, you might want to stay away from any gift related to excretion. We’re just sayin’.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

I am not Christian, but everywhere I go people are wishing me a merry Christmas. It really pisses me off. This is a secular country, right? How do I get people to stop with the indoctrination?


Hitch Is My Hero

Dear HIMY,

Shut the hell up.

Do you expect people to tell just by merely being in your presence that you are not affiliated? If you don’t like Christmas, stay the hell inside. When someone of a faith different or contrary to yours expresses a wish for you that reflects his or her faith, it is out of a desire to care for that part of you which cannot be nourished by food. It makes him or her feel good, this practice of faith. He or she would like you to feel good as well.

We hate when someone asks us how we are and we say “Good, and you?” and they make a HUGE production of telling us they’re “WELL.”  We KNOW good and damn well it’s well, and we guarantee that’s a hell of a lot more annoying than the festive shit you’ve got a problem with.

Now, burn some sage and get your head out of your ass.

Dear Standard Life Coach,

My wife hates people. We have to go to my company’s holiday party or I’ll get fired. What should I do?


Afraid For My Life And My Job

Dear Chuck,

I told you we’d discuss this later, okay?!